Showing posts with label Irony. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Irony. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Trump's Head Will Spin 360 Degrees Over Lawyers

Lawrence O'Donnell reports that the law firm representing Trump in the Michael Cohen legal proceedings is led by two lawyers who called for the appointment of a special counsel after Trump fired James Comey.

Former federal prosecutor Harry Litman predicts how Donald Trump will react when he learns the leaders of the law firm representing him in the Cohen case asked Rod Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel after Trump fired James Comey. Ruth Marcus and Jonathan Capehart join.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

16 tweets where Trump attacks Obama for exactly what Trump is doing in Syria now

Tonight the inevitable happened.

After reports of possibly heinous war crimes being committed by the Syrian government, after weeks and weeks of hostile propaganda coming from the United States and a completely incompetent government in perpetual disarray, Donald Trump announced that the United States would be bombing Syria.

Donald Trump’s opinions on foreign policy have not always been so … hawkish.

Let’s take a look back:

White supremacist blows himself up making ISIS style bombs

Friends and family say Ben Morrow was a Bible-toting lab worker. Investigators say he was a bomb-building white supremacist.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Paul Ryan Is The Worst House Speaker Ever

Lawrence O'Donnell argues Paul Ryan earned that title through unprecedented and unrelenting cowardice and by surrendering his powers to the Trump residency.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Finding Pleasure In The World Starting To Collapse On Trump

Posted by Rude One

Resident Donald Trump, an angry, rotten tangerine on top of a sack of dead hogs, spoke out yesterday about FBI raid of the home, office, and hotel room (whuh?) of his lawyer, Michael Cohen. You might know Cohen as "That motherfucker? Fuck him." Cohen is like Roy Cohn except less charming in the same way that a rabid bear is less charming than a cobra.

Speaking before he surrounded himself with military leaders to pretend to be their commander, Trump went off on Special Counsel Robert Mueller and anyone who wasn't a citizen of Trump World before the filthy swamp of Washington, DC tainted their virgin white garments. "So I just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys," Trump started, ignoring the fact that "they" is actually "we," as in employees of the Justice Department and thus the federal government. "I have this witch hunt constantly going on for over 12 months now — and actually, much more than that. You could say it was right after I won the nomination, it started," he continued. You want to tell him about the Benghazi investigations? Or that for years he accused President Obama of being born in another country? Bitch, shit's just getting good. We're not even at the climax yet.

The raid was bullshit, Trump said. "[I]t’s a disgrace. It’s, frankly, a real disgrace. It’s an attack on our country, in a true sense. It’s an attack on what we all stand for." The idea that a search warrant, signed off on by a judge and handled by a Trump-appointed US Attorney, is an "attack on our country" means that Trump couldn't give a happy monkey fuck about our country except in how much l'etat c'est Trump.

He was on a ranting tear. He attacked the investigators, calling them all "Democrats or a couple of Republicans that worked for President Obama." He wondered why no Hillary: "[T]hey’re not looking at the Hillary Clinton — the horrible things that she did and all of the crimes that were committed. They’re not looking at all of the things that happened that everybody is very angry about, I can tell you, from the Republican side, and I think even the independent side."

Think about that for a second. He wants to know why they're not investigating someone who isn't in government anymore, who was thoroughly investigated, and about whom an investigation is still percolating even though there isn't a goddamn thing to investigate except how stolen emails got to the Trump campaign. But, mostly, think about how disgustingly self-pitying that is. "Why aren't you looking into this thing the man on the TV told me is bad when he told me I am good?" Trump is saying. "Why you no believe man in TV? I like man in TV. And other man in TV. And pretty lady in TV."

Then the mental breakdown of the cornered rat started to occur as his brain just started to dump shit in random bursts of words. Seriously, this is the resident of the goddamn United States, and he's like a skeevy john trying to explain to cops that they shouldn't arrest him when there are murderers out there: "[T]hey don’t even bother looking. And the other side is where there are crimes, and those crimes are obvious. Lies, under oath, all over the place. Emails that are knocked out, that are acid-washed and deleted. Nobody has ever seen — 33,000 emails are deleted after getting a subpoena for Congress, and nobody bothers looking at that."

Goddamn, you want this to be more satisfying, doncha? Shouldn't we be rejoicing a bit, texting our friends gifs of people saying, "Nice" or "Oh, hell, yeah." Except for every little bit of celebration, we think, "But what if, after all this, the dickhole gets away with it?" For every delicious bit of schadenfreude, we wonder how long it'll take to clean up the shitpile he'll leave behind. Yeah, it's stomach-churning and hard to find pleasurable.

And yet...

"The F.B.I. agents who raided the office of Resident Trump’s personal lawyer on Monday were looking for records about payments to two women who claim they had affairs with Mr. Trump, and information related to the publisher of The National Enquirer’s role in silencing one of the women." That's right. According to the New York Times, the raid was about Trump's wandering dick and everything his pathetic thug-wannabe lawyer tried to do to shut women up about his dick.

So while Trump was ranting about "They found no collusion whatsoever with Russia. The reason they found it is there was no collusion at all. No collusion," the Southern District of New York, led by a Rudy Giuliani crony, had the FBI tear up Cohen's shit because of suspicion that Trump and Cohen were lying about something to do with Trump's adulterous dick. Russia may have little to do with this particular raid.

So Donald Trump may end up being crushed by walls made of pussy.

Michael Cohen may be wrecked by women he and his boss tried to wreck.

Ah, there it is. There's that satisfaction I was looking for.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

All the brands that have cut ties with the NRA following gun-control activists' boycotts

By Kate Taylor and Leanna Garfield
  • Gun-control activists are organizing boycotts and calling for companies to cut ties with the National Rifle Association.
  • The NRA has partnerships with companies that offer members special deals, such as discounts on car rentals or hotel bookings.
  • The car-rental giant Enterprise and the First National Bank of Omaha are among the companies that have cut since ties with the NRA.

Gun-control activists are organizing boycotts of companies with ties to the National Rifle Association — and they're already producing results.

People on social media are calling for boycotts of companies that offer or have offered special deals to NRA members who, as part of their membership, receive discounts on things like car rentals and prescription drugs.

While companies such as FedEx and Hertz still offer such discounts, other companies have cut ties.

Here are all the brands that have cut ties with the gun-rights group after the recent boycotts as well as past efforts by gun-control activists.

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines Delta
On Saturday, the airline tweeted that it is "reaching out to the NRA to let them know we will be ending their contract for discounted rates through our group travel program. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website."

United Airlines

United Airlines Scott Olson/Getty Images
The airline announced on Saturday that it is cutting ties to the NRA.
"United is notifying the NRA that we will no longer offer a discounted rate to their annual meeting and we are asking that the NRA remove our information from their website," the company tweeted.


Hertz rental cars are seen in a rental lot near Detroit Metropolitan airport in Romulus.
Thomson Reuters
On Friday, Hertz tweeted, "We have notified the NRA that we are ending the NRA's rental car discount program with Hertz."

Allied Van Lines

Allied Van Lines Allied Van Lines
In a statement to Business Insider, an Allied representative said the moving company is discontinuing its discount program with the NRA immediately. "We have asked them to remove our listing from their benefits site," the representative said.


MetLife Thomson Reuters
MetLife told Business Insider on Friday that it would discontinue its NRA discounts program. "We value all our customers but have decided to end our discount program with the NRA," a representative said in an emailed statement.


SimpliSafe SimpliSafe
On Friday, the home-security company SimpliSafe told Business Insider that it would withdraw from the NRA discount program. "We have discontinued our existing relationship with the NRA," SimpliSafe CEO Chad Laurans said in a statement.

First National Bank of Omaha

On Thursday, the bank said it would not renew a contract with the NRA that allowed members to receive an NRA-branded Visa card. "Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA," the bank said on Twitter in response to a call for a boycott. Previously, First National Bank offered members of the gun-rights organization an NRA Visa card, which offered a $40 cash-back bonus.

Paramount Rx

Paramount Rx Thomson Reuters
On Friday night, Paramount Rx released the following statement to BI: "The prescription discount program that is made available to NRA members is offered through a third-party vendor. We are working with that vendor to discontinue the program and remove the offering."

Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent a Car, and National Car Rental

Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent a Car, and National Car Rental Joe Raedle/Getty Images
The car-rental giant Enterprise Holdings announced on Thursday that it would end its NRA discount program, effective March 26. The three car-rental brands that Enterprise operates — Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent a Car, and National Car Rental — will stop offering discounts to NRA members.
A representative did not respond to Business Insider's follow-up questions about why Enterprise was ending the program, though the company has been flooded with boycott threats on social media. Avis Budget Group and Hertz, two rivals of Enterprise, still offered NRA discounts as of Friday morning.


Symantec Symantec
The cybersecurity company announced on social media Friday that it had "stopped its discount program with the National Rifle Association."

Best Western

Best Western has been targeted by boycott efforts because it has offered discounts to NRA members as recently as 2016. In response, the hotel chain has tweeted dozens of times that it "does not have an affiliation with and is not a corporate partner of the National Rifle Association."

"Best Western ended any association with the NRA in 2014," a representative said in a statement to Business Insider.

Best Western has been targeted in past NRA boycott efforts.

In 2012, after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, the activist group Avaaz organized a boycott of Best Western and Wyndham Hotel Group, calling for them to cut ties with the NRA. At the time, both hotel chains were listed on the gun-rights group's website as "friends of the NRA" and offered members discounts at hotels.

Wyndham Hotel Group

Wyndham Hotel Group Wyndham
While Wyndham Hotel Group previously offered a 10% discount to NRA members, the hotel chain cut ties with the organization late last year. In response to boycott threats this week, the Twitter accounts for Wyndham and its rewards program tweeted dozens of times that the hotel chain was "no longer affiliated with the NRA."

Republic Bank

Republic Bank Republic Bank
"The NRA Prepaid Card program was previously under review. Upon conclusion of this review, we decided to discontinue the offering," a representative said in a statement.

Avis and Budget

Avis and Budget Getty Images/John Moore
A representative for Avis and Budget told Business Insider that the brands would stop the NRA rewards program, effective March 26, 2018.

Corporations start dropping support for the NRA and you too can do your part to help: Tell Amazon, Roku, Apple, and Google to dump the NRA TV channel

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Several Eagles will skip Donald Trump White House visit after winning Super Bowl

MINNEAPOLIS -- Several Eagles players plan on skipping the traditional White House celebration after winning Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots on Sunday night.

Wide receiver Torrey Smith, defensive end Chris Long, and safety Malcolm Jenkins are among the players planing to boycott visiting President Donald J. Trump.

Here is the exact moment the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, finishing off the New England Patriots, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII (52) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. on Sunday, February 4, 2018 (2/4/18). (Video by Eliot Shorr-Parks | NJ Advance Media for

Trump has repeatedly attacked NFL players for silent acts of dissent whether it is kneeling or raising fists during the national anthem in advocating for criminal justice reform and eradicating social injustice.

"They call it the anthem protest," Smith said this week. "We're not protesting the anthem. It's a protest during the anthem. I understand why people are mad, or may be offended when someone takes a knee.

"My father when he dies, is going to be buried with an American flag draped around his casket, being that he served in the army. I understand why some people are offended by it. Also, there are soldiers that have issues going on right now, and they are things that effect them. They're things that effect my father. He understands both sides of the issue."

Nick Foles, Corey Clement power Eagles to Super Bowl victory 41-33 over New England Patriots | Studs and Duds

Meanwhile, Long -- who also skipped the post Super Bowl White House trip last year as a member of the New England Patriots -- says that he does not want his children to grow up having been influenced by Trump's actions or policies.

"No," Long said during the Pardon My Take Podcast. "I'm not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?"

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Mueller Bombshell Proves Republicans Are Running Out Of Time

History will not be kind to Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and others who stand by idly.


Getty Images
It came with the wind through the silence of the night, a long, deep mutter, then a rising howl, and then the sad moan in which it died away. Again and again it sounded, the whole air throbbing with it, strident, wild and menacing.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles, 1902.

So, if I read the state of play correctly, special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the president* and the president*’s administration* for obstruction of justice, and Mueller has been running this investigation for seven months knowing that the president* came within an ace of firing him last June for the purposes of, ah, obstructing justice. He’s had this information in his back pocket every time a member of the administration* came before him under oath. I’ve never been a criminal defendant charged with obstruction of justice, but this seems to me to be a bad situation for an obstructor of justice to be in.

The major scoop in The New York Times that has shaken up the world can be read in a number of different ways that all lead to the same conclusion. Right from jump, the president* has been scared right down to his silk boxers of what Mueller would discover regarding his campaign’s connections to Russian ratfcking and regarding his business connections to freshly laundered Russian cash. This conclusion does not change even if you think that White House counsel Don McGahn leaked this story to make himself the hero or to cover his own ass. This conclusion does not change even if you think the ratlines off the listing hulk of this administration are thick with fleeing rodents. This whole thing remains a product of the president*’s guilty mind.
(And the story did shake up the world. The president* went before a gathering in Davos on Friday and began raving about “fake news” and the perfidy of the American media. He got booed. Many cats were called. No shoes were thrown, but George W. Bush set a pretty high bar there.)

The story does explain the curious frenzy over the last week: the president*’s saying that he’s “looking forward” to a chat with Mueller, and that he might even deign to have the chat under oath; the apparent rush to present the Congress with a half-baked “compromise plan” on immigration that has no chance of passing the House of Representatives; and the fact that the president* took every member of his inner circle except his wife to Switzerland. I suspect those folks heard the baying of the hound even before Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman did. More ominous is the possibility that McGahn—or whomever—leaked this story because the president* is thinking about firing Mueller now, or in the near future, and whoever the leaker was understands very well what a monumental calamity that would be for all concerned.

You would think that we would see the wheels turning now. You would think that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would find some slivers of patriotism between the cushions of their sofas and step up to fulfill the constitutional obligations of their respective offices. There is a genuine crisis on their doorsteps right now, and, next week, the president* is supposed to give his State of the Union address, and god alone knows what he’s going to say. They have not moved. They have given no indication that they will move. History will brand them as cowards and as traitors to the country’s best ideals. History’s not going to be kind to a lot of people who are living through these insane times.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Martin Luther King Would Fuck Trump's Shit Up (Africa Edition)

Posted by Rude One

While conservatives continue their annual desperate attempt to colonize the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., King stubbornly remains a revolutionary figure, one who was blatantly socialist and vehemently anti-capitalist. In fact, King drew a direct line between Western capitalism and the exploitation of African countries. He knew what had turned those countries into "shitholes." A trip to Ghana in 1957 to celebrate that nation's independence from England and the election of a new prime minister solidified King's view that the treatment of African Americans by whites in the United States was strikingly similar to the effects of colonialism in western and southern Africa.

In a sermon after his Ghana trip called "Birth of a New Nation" (goddamn, you know King knew exactly what he was doing with that title), King connected Ghana to the slaves in biblical Egypt ridding themselves of their chains, and he explained what had just happened:

"Prior to March the sixth, 1957, there existed a country known as the Gold Coast. This country was a colony of the British Empire. This country was situated in that vast continent known as Africa. I’m sure you know a great deal about Africa, that continent with some two hundred million people, and it extends and covers a great deal of territory...

"For years the Gold Coast was exploited and dominated and trampled over. The first European settlers came in there about 1444, the Portuguese, and they started legitimate trade with the people in the Gold Coast. They started dealing with them with their gold, and in turn they gave them guns and ammunition and gunpowder and that type of thing. Well, pretty soon America was discovered a few years later in the fourteen hundreds, and then the British West Indies. And all of these growing discoveries brought about the slave trade."

King continued to tell the story of the Gold Coast, bringing it to the then-present: "Finally, in 1850, Britain won out, and she gained possession of the total territorial expansion of the Gold Coast. From 1850 to 1957, March sixth, the Gold Coast was a colony of the British Empire. And as a colony she suffered all of the injustices, all of the exploitation, all of the humiliation that comes as a result of colonialism. But like all slavery, like all domination, like all exploitation, it came to the point that the people got tired of it."

After talking about how the Gold Coast became Ghana, King brought it back to his opening images, "Ghana reminds us that freedom never comes on a silver platter. It’s never easy. Ghana reminds us that whenever you break out of Egypt, you better get ready for stiff backs. You better get ready for some homes to be bombed. You better get ready for some churches to be bombed. You better get ready for a lot of nasty things to be said about you, because you getting out of Egypt. And whenever you break aloose from Egypt, the initial response of the Egyptian is bitterness."

Martin Luther King would fuck up the shit of Donald Trump and his coterie of Republican motherfuckers because that is what he did, and he would specifically fuck up Trump's shit now over the ersatz president's inability to see beyond his own racism when it comes to African nations and their people. King would call out the oppressors for their oppression because that, too, is what he did.

When we remember King, it should always be as a balls-to-the-wall fighter for people of color and, eventually, for all disempowered people. He would be in the streets, marching now, and he would be confronted by white people with tiki torches and uncontrollable cops, and Donald Trump would blame King for any violence that took place because that is what he does.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Support For Donald Trump's Impeachment Is Higher Than His Reelection Chances

Source: Newsweek Magazine

BY SAM SCHWARZ ON 12/20/17 AT 9:18 AM

Donald Trump is hemorrhaging support among the American people, and now more than 40 percent of Americans think it's time to start the process to impeach him, a new poll finds. The number is higher than the percentage of Americans who said they planned to vote for the current resident in the 2020 election.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey, out Wednesday, carried very little good news for the resident and put him on notice that close to half of Americans believe there is enough for Congress to hold impeachment hearings even before the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The poll found that 70 percent of Democrats, 40 percent of Independents and even seven percent of Republicans are in favor of Congress holding hearings to remove the resident from office.

The number calling for impeachment proceedings to get underway closely parallels the 38 percent of Americans who believe Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 president election.

The White House has both publicly and privately suggested that Mueller's investigation will come to an end early in the new year, but that would appear to be wishful thinking. Recent reports have instead indicated that Mueller and his team could be working at least through the midterm elections in 2018 and possibly even beyond.

Read more:

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Republican Congressman Who Mocked Sick People As Immoral Announces He Has Cancer

Republican Congressman Mo Brooks from Alabama recently announced on the House floor that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and was greeted with the utmost sympathy from his fellow members of Congress.

But just a few months ago, this same man said during an interview with CNN that people who lead good lives don’t get sick because they do everything right.

He also wants to deny millions of Americans the same healthcare benefits that he receives.

His diagnosis is sad for him and his family, but his actions as a Congressman are absolutely disgusting. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

‘I Think Bannon Made An Ass Of Himself’: Republicans Rejoice In Breitbart Chief’s Alabama Humiliation

Roy Moore lost the election on Tuesday night. But some Republicans were thrilled that the defeat left a stain on his main backer.

Roy Moore wasn’t the only loser Tuesday night. He might not have even been the biggest one.

The Alabama Republican’s stunning defeat at the hands of Democrat Doug Jones dealt a crushing blow to the nascent political operation helmed by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who threw every ounce of his political muscle behind Moore’s candidacy, even as many national Republicans, save President Donald Trump, rushed to distance themselves following the emergence of sexual assault and child molestation allegations against Moore.

Bannon headlined rallies for Moore, enlisted allies in a political effort to boost his candidacy, and marshalled his website, Breitbart News, to Moore’s defense against those misconduct allegations—and in an effort to discredit the former state supreme court justice’s accusers—with at least one top Breitbart staffer spending the last month of the race in-state. And when it was all said and done, with Jones claiming triumph, the Bannon critics (and there are many) took the chance to dance on his grave.

“Bannon is like so many people that get involved in politics. They work on their first race, their person wins, and they think people voted for them,” said Stu Stevens, the former top strategist to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. As part of his closing argument supporting Moore’s campaign, Bannon had made bashing Romney a rhetorical centerpiece.

“I think Bannon made an ass of himself [tonight],” Stevens added. “Be wary of the angry millionaire.”

Whether the Breitbart chief is actually buried will be determined in the days and weeks ahead.

Bannon is not known to be easily humbled and a source close to him simply said that he and his associates were “stunned” by the results of the evening.

They were also busy figuring out the moves ahead, including laying the blame on establishment Republicans for ditching Moore in the midst of his scandals. Though Jones’ margin exceeded 1.5% of all votes cast with all precincts reporting, Moore refused to concede the race. The margin is far above the 0.5% threshold that triggers an automatic recount in Alabama, but secretary of state John Merrill said on Tuesday evening that any candidate can request a recount as long as the candidate himself pays for it.

The overwhelming likelihood that Jones would be seated could well spark a tectonic shift within the GOP, strategists said on Tuesday. They equated it to Scott Brown’s surprise Senate victory in Massachusetts in 2010, which proved to be a political turning point in a young Barack Obama administration.

As in that moment, Tuesday night’s ramifications for the current president could prove profound.

Dispensing with the concerns of some of his advisers and family members, Trump decided to forcefully boost Moore’s candidacy in the final weeks. He specifically touted it as a means of helping move forward his governing agenda, which now finds itself more in peril.

White House officials told The Daily Beast earlier on Tuesday that the president kept tabs on the race in his residence in the White House. When he finally weighed in just after 11 PM, Trump’s response was uncharacteristically muted.

“Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory,” the president wrote on Twitter. “The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a win. The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!”

One senior Trump aide stressed early Tuesday that Trump would take a Jones upset “very, very” hard—not least, the aide said, because it would rob the president of the ability to goad his predecessor, Barack Obama, over getting involved on Jones’s behalf. (Obama didn’t touch the race until its final days, when he put out a robocall on behalf of the Democratic contender).

As much as he would have been a governing ally for the president, Moore was also an avatar for a distinctively Trump-era style of politics. Bannon in particular, considered Moore a leader of his crusade against the Republican establishment in Washington, and against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) specifically. When Moore prevailed in a primary challenge to Sen. Luther Strange in September, Bannon allies were sure to point the finger directly at McConnell, who, they said, was so disliked in the state as to make his endorsement a poison pill.
McConnell allies were sure to reciprocate the sentiment in the wake of a massive upset that brought the Republican margin in the Senate down to just a single vote.

“Steve Bannon has done more for Democrats than they could’ve ever thought possible,” said Josh Holmes, McConnell’s former chief of staff. ”Bannon displayed an absolutely breathtaking display of political incompetence that will go down in the annals of history for every Republican to mourn for generations.”

Though McConnell allies squarely blamed Bannon for the loss, it was the Senate Leadership Fund, a McConnell-allied super PAC, that helped pave the way for Moore’s primary victory. The group spent significant sums hammering Rep. Mo Brooks, a conservative House member perceived as a likely threat to Strange’s incumbency. Moore, on the other hand, was seen as an easy target for Strange in a head-to-head primary runoff. But Moore prevailed, and his faults proved deadly in a general election.

SLF stayed out of the general election contest, and other prominent arms of the Republican political machine did the same. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which withdrew from a joint fundraising pact with Moore in the wake of his sexual misconduct allegations, quickly—if perhaps fancifully—attempted to capitalize on that stance by immediately courting Jones’s vote once it became clear he’d prevail.

“Tonight’s results are clear—the people of Alabama deemed Roy Moore unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate,” said NRSC chairman Cory Gardner in a statement. “I hope Senator-elect Doug Jones will do the right thing and truly represent Alabama by choosing to vote with the Senate Republican Majority.”

Bannon and his anti-establishment allies, several of whom traveled to Alabama for what they expected would be a Tuesday night victory party, had been feeling incredibly optimistic about Moore’s chances right up until the race’s sudden shift, around 10 p.m. ET, in Jones’s direction.

"I'm feeling pretty good about it,” Corey Stewart, former chairman of the Trump campaign in Virginia and failed gubernatorial candidate, told The Daily Beast on Tuesday afternoon. Stewart said he would leave the Yellowhammer State on Wednesday.

“People can see through this attempt by Washington elites to try to pick the next senator from Alabama, and they don't like it,” he continued. “I’m talking about Mitch McConnell, and Condi Rice, and Cory Gardner. Naturally, people resent that.”

Still, Stewart felt there was something to worry about, even as he predicted Moore’s imminent triumph that never came.

“The reason I'm here is when the establishment is done with Roy Moore, they're going to try to crush me and any other anti-establishment, pro-Trump candidates for U.S. Senate and for Congress,” he said. “So I'm here for solidarity. They're gonna try to pick us off one by one, so we gotta stick together, man.”

If the messaging emerging out of the so-called Republican establishment on Tuesday night is any indication, Stewart has a point. Insurgent and Bannon-aligned forces in Trump’s GOP now find themselves playing defense in an ongoing civil conflict.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

FEMA Staffers Told They Might Be Billed For Working Too Much


(Bloomberg) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency has informed employees who’ve worked extra hours battling a record wave of natural disasters in 2017 that they may have to pay back some of their overtime.

Federal law caps some federal employees’ premium pay and permits agencies to recover money paid in excess of the maximum from future paychecks. FEMA says the extraordinary year of hurricanes, wildfires and other disasters means it may have to take that step.

“This year’s unprecedented hurricane season led to a record-setting length of national activation,” the agency said in an emailed statement. “Due to the extended work hours involved in supporting disaster recovery and response efforts for multiple storms, some employees have been affected by the annual maximum earnings limitation.”

The agency last month sent employees a Frequently Asked Questions document saying that those who hit the annual cap due to the number of extra hours they’ve worked “may still be ordered to perform work without receiving further compensation,” and would “continue to receive their regular base pay regardless of whether they exceed the annual premium pay cap or not.”

Then, it said, “A bill will be determined and established for any premium pay amounts over the annual premium pay cap and the employee will be notified and billed in 2018 for that amount."

The issue arises amid broader reckoning at FEMA. On Nov. 30, the agency’s administrator Brock Long told a House Appropriations subcommittee that staff were "tapped out" following record activation. "FEMA was never designed to be the first or only respondent in a disaster, but we often find ourselves in that situation," he said.

According to FEMA, there is a pool of about 500 employees whose compensation the agency is monitoring because they are at risk of exceeding the cap. Those employees are all exempt from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and generally are towards the upper end of the agency’s pay scale.

Waivers Issued

One FEMA employee, who asked not to be identified because she wasn’t authorized to speak to media, said workers have voiced concerns to agency management about the issue. Billing staff or docking pay could reduce the willingness of FEMA employees or other Homeland Security staff to sign up for deployments in the future, she said.

The federal Office of Personnel Management, which handles federal workforce human resources, said the ceiling on annual compensation was out of its hands.

“The premium pay caps are statutory, and OPM does not have authority to waive or modify the premium pay caps,” the agency said in an emailed statement.

Under the law, an executive branch employee’s premium pay - which includes overtime - combined with basic pay can’t exceed the maximum rate of basic pay for certain categories of employees. An email to staff from FEMA November 2 offered the example of a category of employees based in Washington, D.C. who this year get a regular salary of $153,730; for those workers, Congress has capped the premium pay they can receive, including for working extra hours, at $7,636.40.

Along with the annual cap, there is also a ceiling on how much overtime compensation employees can receive each two-week period, but agencies have the discretion to waive that one, as the Department of Homeland Security did this year for hurricane relief - contributing to the annual cap issue.

“Employees who have exceeded the annual premium pay cap will be contacted and provided options on the overpayment process," the agency told its employees. They will be able to give back the money via payroll deduction or simply pay the full sum, according to the Nov. 3 Q&A.

The House is slated Tuesday to consider a bill that would raise the cap on overtime for Secret Service agents, a third of whom had already hit the limit as of August. The agency, in a statement, said the bill would be a "tremendous lift to employee morale."

The bill has not yet been voted on in the Senate.

Homeland Security is not powerless to address the situation for FEMA, said attorney Jacob Statman, who represents federal workers in employment disputes.

While the agency can’t waive the pay cap, a different law grants it the discretion to waive the requirement that a particular employee pay back the excessive compensation, if the employee requests the waiver and the government determines that collection "would be against equity and good conscience and not in the best interests of the United States."

Asked about that prospect, the Office of Personnel Management said in an email that "The head of each agency has authority to administer the overpayment waiver authority" under the statute.

FEMA didn’t comment on whether it might grant such waivers if employees requested them.

Agencies are generally hesitant to grant such waivers, said Richard Loeb, an attorney for the American Federation of Government Employees, in part because waiving repayments could draw scrutiny from their inspector generals.

Former OPM director Donald Devine, who led the agency under President Ronald Reagan, said Congress never should have deprived the executive branch of the authority to waive pay caps in the first place. “You need a certain amount of flexibility in terms of running the government,” Devine said. “Unfortunately, Congress gets frustrated about something, they usually try to find some blunt instrument way to do something.”

(Updates with Office of Personnel Management statement in fourth to last paragraph.)
--With assistance from Christopher Flavelle
To contact the reporter on this story: Josh Eidelson in Washington at
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at, Michael B. Marois

Monday, November 13, 2017

How Low Will They Go - The Roy Moore Edition

Oh, So Now Steve Harvey Is Sorry For Cozying Up To Trump?

Black celebrities from Ben Vereen to Wilt Chamberlain have identified themselves with Republicans and survived. But this is different.

The latest ratings for Steve Harvey’s show are bad. He’s lost his audience, and he blames his meeting with then President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower on Jan. 13 as the cause of his plummeting ratings. Back then, Harvey had nothing but glowing praise for Trump and high hopes for Trump’s presidency.

“I walked away feeling like I had just talked with a man who genuinely wants to make a difference in this area. I feel that something really great could come out of this,” said Harvey of his meeting with Trump.

Harvey basked in the glory of meeting with a man who rose to prominence as a “birther” and elevated white supremacists to the highest levels of power. For months, Harvey defended his decision to meet with Trump and only now that it could potentially ruin his career he has seen the error in his ways. Harvey’s no longer a person worth listening to.

Frankly, Harvey had already stopped being funny back in June, after he told a man from Flint, Michigan, who called into his radio show to “enjoy your nice brown glass of water.”

Harvey gets it now. “Meeting with Donald Trump was the worst mistake of my life,” he recently said on his radio show. But he has a lot of work to do to win back black support.

Ben Carson was loved by black America when he was the brain surgeon from Johns Hopkins who wrote inspirational books for black children. But all of his credibility quickly evaporated once he started criticizing President Barack Obama. His clueless political statements, stunningly moronic presidential campaign, and friendship with Trump only further solidified his exile from and ridicule within the black community. Carson seems uninterested in making amends and working to earn back the support he once had. He’s chosen a new team.

Harvey and Carson deserve their ostracism. But not everyone does. In recent years, the most dramatic and controversial shunning a black celebrity has received from the black community is also the most tragic and unjust.

When Buck Dancing Kills Your Ratings: Steve Harvey Is Now Having Coon Regrets